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Hey Lovelies,

So in the last post about the transfer I mentioned being PUPO. This is a term that is bandied about within the infertility community but is not a term that RE offices use and my councilor does not approve of it. It stands for “Pregnant Until Proven Otherwise”. It’s a way to deal with the uncertainty created in the time after embryo transfer when you don’t know if the cycle was successful. You’ve put a living embryo back into your uterus, but you have no idea if it’s still alive. At this point you aren’t allowed to drink alcohol or take most OTC drugs and your activities are severely limited, just like if you’re pregnant, because you might be. RE’s and therapists discourage this acronym because it can create false hope, not all who go through IVF become pregnant. Stats say it’s between 40-80% that succeed depending on your personal factors and how many embryos you’ve transferred back. So saying PUPO can be hurtful for the between 60-20% of patients that IVF fails for. Hope is a slippery bitch.

Be that as it may, I find the term PUPO to be very helpful for defining the weird in-between-ness that is an IVF cycle before you test. I liken it to the “Schrödinger’s Cat” experiment. This is a thought experiment in Physics wherein you place a cat into a box with one radioactive compound or another and then close the box. The cat is thought to have a 50/50 chance of being either dead or alive when the box is opened. In Quantum Mechanics the principle is taken even farther to mean that the cat is simultaneously both alive AND dead before you look. All at once!- Click here for a great video explaining this – But that’s kinda like being PUPO! You are both pregnant and not pregnant at the same time before testing. It’s a crazy place to be.

XOXXO,
Unpregnant Chicken

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30 thoughts on “Micro Post: PUPO-Schrödinger’s Cat

  • April 20, 2015 at 6:05 am
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    I really came to despise the two week wait when we were doing iui’s I think I drove my husband absolutely crazy, the Clomid was doing crazy things to me and every time it didn’t work,it felt like little pieces of my soul were being ripped out….. The third one was the worst……I’m pretty sure I drank a whole lot the next day after ( we were at a friends wedding and I had open bar privlages) but the pregnant until assumed otherwise….when we do Ivf I’m not to sure how I’ll handle that one, I know by the last iui I did take Advil a couple times for some raging migraines I got, but maybe it will be different if we do end up paying this crazy amount for it 🙂 good luck to you 🙂

    Reply
    • April 20, 2015 at 10:18 am
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      Jewels,
      I found it was very different from my IUI cycles. I cant speak for everyone but I found the whole thing was so different with emotions. Best of luck.
      XOXXO, Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply
      • April 21, 2015 at 11:03 am
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        As a woman who is about to undergo IVF for the first time this summer after several failed IUIs, can you elaborate on how it was different for you? I know everyone’s experiences are different as we’re all different people but I am interested in how your body/emotions reacted differently with IVF vs IUI.

        My fingers, eyes and toes are crossed for you!!

        Reply
        • April 21, 2015 at 6:58 pm
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          Melissa,
          I found it very different. First off I found I was way less crazy/bitchy on the IVF drugs than on the Clomid that i took for IUI. However I felt like I was way more emotionally unstable during IVF there is just so much going on. Instead of like one roller coatser per month of hope and despair you go up and down many times a week. Each scan, each phone call, transfer day, beta day, hopefully ultrasound day… its just much more to take in. Get a good shrink. Mine was very helpful.
          XOXXO, Unpregnant Chicken

          Reply
  • April 20, 2015 at 6:30 am
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    This is an amazing analogy to PUPO. Love the quantum physics reference!! You have a way of putting this into perspective like to other. Hope you’re doing well! Xoxo

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    • April 20, 2015 at 10:19 am
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      RealityCzech,
      You’re welcome. I thought it worked so well! Feeling good. Hoping same for you!
      XOXXO, Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply
    • April 20, 2015 at 10:20 am
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      Nicole,
      Thanks babe!
      XOXXO, Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply
  • April 20, 2015 at 7:42 am
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    Fingers, toes, eyes… heck… EVERYTHING crossed. PUPO is a harsh mistress. But a necessary one in the world of IVF.

    Reply
    • April 20, 2015 at 10:21 am
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      Gil,
      Thanks, be careful not to walk around too much like that.. Looks funny and probably dangerous lol.
      XOXXO, Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply
  • April 20, 2015 at 9:47 am
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    I hadn’t even heard of PUPO before starting treatments. Now I kinda like the term cuz it’s assuming you’re pregnant, not that you aren’t.

    Reply
    • April 20, 2015 at 10:22 am
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      Renuka,
      Yeah it puts a positive spin on the whole wait for sure.
      XOXXO, Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply
  • April 20, 2015 at 9:55 am
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    I think the term also acknowledges that it’s a step beyond sex. After sex, you have no clue if sperm reached egg. But here you know that an embryo is inside. The question is whether it is implanting and continuing to grow. Sending good thoughts.

    Reply
    • April 20, 2015 at 10:22 am
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      Mel,
      True. It needs to be stated as something different because it is quite different.
      XOXXO, Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply
  • April 20, 2015 at 11:50 am
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    I always felt strange using it for myself, but it totally makes sense! I also agree with what Mel and you said. You know something alive was put back in you, whether or not it continues is another matter. We’ve got to give ourselves as much hope as possible. The let down is hard no matter what you think or in what terms.

    Reply
    • April 20, 2015 at 12:20 pm
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      JustHeather,
      Yeah, after IVF there is such a high that no matter what you call it the let down is horrendous. But it’s an interesting paradox.
      XOXXO, Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply
  • April 20, 2015 at 12:13 pm
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    I can’t remember who, but someone in our community calls it Pregnant Unless Proven Otherwise….and I always like that wording. Unless sounds more promising than Until to me.

    Sending good vibes that you are not proven otherwise! 🙂

    Reply
    • April 20, 2015 at 12:21 pm
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      Rachel,
      That does sound more optimistic for sure!
      XOXXO, Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply
  • April 20, 2015 at 12:34 pm
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    Agreeing with both you and Mel. Though it felt strange having that term applied to me, what you both said definitely applies.

    Hope all is well!

    Reply
    • April 20, 2015 at 4:54 pm
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      Cristy,
      I didn’t know that so many people hated this term! Interesting. I quite liked the shot of optimism after so much BS. LOL
      XOXXO, Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply
  • April 20, 2015 at 12:52 pm
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    thinking of you! I like the term; it’s hopeful. Hoping the best for you.

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    • April 20, 2015 at 4:54 pm
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      Turtle,
      I agree. Thanks!
      XOXXO, Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply
  • April 20, 2015 at 4:39 pm
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    I can see why the medical field would frown on the term PUPO, but I think its cool that you are. Good luck!

    Reply
    • April 20, 2015 at 4:55 pm
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      Savannah,
      Yes, it makes sense to not increase the level of excitement/anxiety during IVF if you can help it. So the medical peeps don’t use it. I also think its cool though.
      XOXXO, Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply
  • April 20, 2015 at 7:11 pm
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    I used to think about that poor cat during every TWW, especially in the later stages of it. It’s like your body already knows the answer, but you don’t. Such a maddening time…

    Reply
    • April 20, 2015 at 7:40 pm
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      Molly,
      LOL I knew I couldn’t be the only person to have made that connection! I think it so perfectly sums it up!
      XOXXO, Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply
  • April 20, 2015 at 8:22 pm
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    Such a good analogy! I’d never thought of that, but it is perfect.

    And false hope – really? By the time we get to do IVF we all know the process, and we are either hopeful or not. I can’t see being called PUPO really changes things. And besides, in my mind, false hope is better than no hope at all. We’re no more or less disappointed if it doesn’t work, but at least we’ve had a week or two feeling positive.

    Reply
    • April 21, 2015 at 6:56 pm
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      Mali,
      Thanks! Yeah I think the dr.’s are in the business of not getting sued so..”you said I was pregnant! You called me pupo!” Or something.
      XOXXO, Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply
  • April 21, 2015 at 11:47 am
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    Even though my husband and I did IUI’s and not IVF, I always considered myself PUPO. It gave me great comfort knowing (or at lest thinking) that I was pregnant until proven otherwise.

    Hoping for good news for you.

    Reply
    • April 21, 2015 at 7:00 pm
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      Suzy,
      Interesting, Ive never heard of that term being applied to IUI, usually its used to differentiate that you KNOW there’s an embryo in there. Glad it was able to bring you comfort during your IUI though.
      XOXXO, Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply

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